The Dark Side Elite, also known as the Dark Side Warriors and unofficially as the Emperor's Dark Jedi, was a body of seven Dark Jedi established by Emperor Palpatine during his return in several clone bodies. The elite group was hand selected by Palpatine to lead Operation Shadow Hand in the Galactic Empire's quest to retake the galaxy. Palpatine made sure that the group always contained seven warriors, and if one of their number was lost, he made sure to immediately appoint replacements. When a Dark Side Adept was selected into the brotherhood, they went through an initiation of sorts in which the adept was empowered with the dark side of the Force by Palpatine himself. As the war accelerated, the Dark Side Elite began to take a more personal role in the war and were tasked with hunting down Luke Skywalker to prevent his interference in the Emperor's plans.
However, the Emperor's Dark Jedi were unable to match Skywalker's power, and with the help of other Jedi that Skywalker had found on his journeys, along with his sister Leia Organa Solo, the Elite were withered down to a paltry few. In fact, one of their number, Kam Solusar, defected to Skywalker's side, and began to use their powers against them. With a high number of failures on their record, the Elite holed themselves up in their headquarters at Bast Castle on Vjun. It was there that Skywalker and his Jedi besieged them, taking the fight to the enemy. The entire dark brotherhood was slain in the encounter with the exception of their leader Xecr Nist who died in prison shortly afterward.
Following the death of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, many of his followers believed him gone for good. However, due to his many experiments with the dark side of the Force, he survived, and his spirit was able to make his way to a secure Imperial base on the planet Byss. It was there that Palpatine was reborn into one of his myriad of clone bodies that he had prepared on the dark world. Equipped with a healthy young body, Palpatine made plans to retake the galaxy. To accomplish this task, Palpatine put into motion a military strategy known as Operation Shadow Hand, designed to overwhelm the enemy. To lead this grand venture, the Emperor would need brutal warriors that were totally devoted to his will.
In his writing of the Dark Side Compendium, Palpatine had imagined a team of seven Dark Jedi. These warriors would be totally immersed in the dark side and led by the call of the Emperor. With the Emperor's rebirth, Palpatine put his dream into action. Among his many ranks of Dark Side Adepts, Palpatine found his select group of seven. As his Military Executor and replacement for the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader as the leader of the Imperial forces, Palpatine chose the Dark Jedi Qaga Lok, a descendant of Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma. After a humbling ordeal in front of the Emperor, Lok swore his devotion to Palpatine and changed his name to Sedriss QL. The rest of the group was filled out by other hand selected warriors including the fallen Jedi Kam Solusar. The rest of the Dark Side Elite included Vill Goir, Krdys Mordi, Baddon Fass, Zasm Katth, and Kvag Gthull. Inquisitor Jerec—who had read the Dark Side Compendium—created his own corps of seven Dark Jedi, which included himself. However, this group was slain by the Jedi Kyle Katarn in 5 ABY.
Operation Shadow HandEdit
With his Dark Side cadre complete, Palpatine put his plan for galactic domination in motion. Heading Operation Shadow Hand, the seven Dark Jedi brought the fight to the New Republic. Unfortunately, as soon as it seemed that the Empire would be victorious on all fronts, the Emperor was killed by Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and his sister, Leia Organa Solo. However, the Elite knew that their leader would return, and under Sedriss, they continued Operation Shadow Hand. Unfortunately, it was at this time that one of their number would finally come into contact with Skywalker. Kam Solusar, the son of a Clone Wars Jedi, found Skywalker at the spaceport above the planet Nespis VIII. The Jedi Master was able to best Solusar in a game of lightsider, eventually turning him away from the dark side.
The loss of Solusar became only a temporary setback as the Dark Side Elite quickly recruited another into their group, bringing their number back up to seven. With their brotherhood full again, Sedriss took Mordi and Goir to the planet Balmorra to secure new weapons. However, with the absence of the Emperor, the force of Sedriss' threats fell on deaf ears, and Balmorran Governor Beltane demanded independence from the Empire. In the following battle, Sedriss and his men were soundly defeated by Balmorran X-1 Viper droids. Sedriss was forced to sign a truce with Balmorra signifying their independence. The loss at Balmorra was a heavy blow to the Empire, and members of the Imperial Ruling Council began to call for Sedriss' execution. Sedriss and four of the other Dark Side Elite were recalled to the Emperor's Citadel on Byss.
Meanwhile, the remaining two Elite, Baddon Fass and Zasm Katth, piloted the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Invincible to Nar Shaddaa in an attempt to capture Leia Organa Solo and her husband Han Solo. Leading dark trooper team two, Fass and Katth located the bounty hunter Boba Fett and tried to force him to work for free. The stubborn bounty hunter refused the darksiders' request and shot his way out of the encounter. However, Imperial spies were able to locate Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, and piloting their Star Destroyer over the city, Katth and Fass tried to capture the ship in a tractor beam. Unfortunately, some fancy flying by Solo kept the ship from locking onto the Falcon, and they instead ripped a large tower out of the city. The tower skewered the Invincible, critically damaging the ship. The Star Destroyer plummeted into the city, killing Katth and Fass.
- "Bring me the woman Jedi before she has her third child… and set all your forces against Luke Skywalker!'"
Back at the Citadel, Sedriss and the remaining Dark Side Elite confronted the Imperial Ruling Council, discovering that they had grown tired of waiting for Palpatine's return. The adepts Nefta and Sa-Di had decided to ensure that the Emperor would not return and began to destroy his remaining clone bodies stored in the Citadel. Sedriss witnessed the betrayal and took it upon himself to discipline the pair. As Sedriss executed the unfaithful traitors, the Emperor had finally found his way back into another clone body. Palpatine congratulated his Executor for his loyalty and assigned him with a new task. Sedriss and his men would now be responsible for capturing Skywalker and his sister.
Sedriss and the Dark Side Elite began to search for Skywalker, eventually locating Skywalker and Solusar on the planet Ossus. Unfortunately, at this time, Palpatine received word on the fate of Fass and Katth. Calling his Military Executor into his chambers, Palpatine told Sedriss that he held him personally responsible for the deaths of two of his most powerful disciples. However, Sedriss told Palpatine that he knew the location of Skywalker, and that Palpatine should give him one last chance. Instead of executing Sedriss, Palpatine allowed him one final chance to capture Skywalker, and Sedriss and Vill Goir left for Ossus.
Arriving on Ossus with a group of dark troopers onboard the Imperial Hunter starship Scourge One, Sedriss's men found themselves in a conflict with the native Ysanna people. Although the Ysanna were only equipped with primitive weapons, they were led into battle by Skywalker and Kam Solusar. The Jedi's power in the Force allowed them to overcome the Dark Side Elite's men, and Sedriss and Goir were forced to continue the fight by themselves. However, Sedriss and Goir were outmatched by Skywalker's power. Goir was immediately cut in half by Solusar, and Sedriss was easily disarmed by Skywalker. In a final standoff in which Sedriss tried to take Jem Ysanna hostage, the Military Executor was obliterated by the ancient Jedi Ood Bnar who was in hibernation on Ossus.
News of the death of his Military Executor reached Palpatine on Byss where he was overseeing the completion of his latest superweapon, the Galaxy Gun. Infuriated by the turn of events, Palpatine recruited two of his Dark Side Adepts, Xecr Nist and Tedryn-Sha as replacements to bring the Dark Side Elite back up to seven. To replace Sedriss, Nist was appointed as the new Imperial Executor. In a fury over the inability of his forces to locate Leia Organa or her children—whom the Emperor wanted to turn to the dark side—Palpatine brought his two new Dark Side Warriors to their headquarters at Bast Castle. After arriving, Palpatine and his Dark Jedi witnessed Kvag Gthull and another Dark Side Elite torture the whereabouts of the Jedi out of a captured Major Ntthan. Although the New Republic agent put up a good fight, he finally revealed the Jedi's presence on the safeworld of New Alderaan. Boarding their personal I-7 Howlrunners, Nist and the six other Dark Side Warriors left their base in preparation for the end of the Jedi Knights.
- "By the darkness that I am, the time I have longed for has finally come. The end of the Jedi Knights…I can taste it! There will be no one left to oppose my will!'"
Arriving alongside an Imperial force ready to level the base, Nist and his warriors went ahead to capture and kill the Jedi, holding a group of advanced AT-ATs in reserve. Flying in low and slipping under the cover of night, the Dark Side Elite infiltrated the camp, finding the Rebels asleep and unaware. In order to neutralize Skywalker, the warriors released a group of Scarab Mark VI assassin droids which quickly attacked and poisoned the Jedi Master. Unfortunately, just as Tedryn-Sha and Mordi prepared to capture the wounded Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo and Jem Ysanna became aware of the presence of the dark warriors and attacked. Although Sha was able to kill Jem, the quick thinking of Organa Solo found the two darksiders dead on the floor.
Meanwhile, Nist and the remaining Dark Jedi sought out Leia's children, Jacen and Jaina, with Gthull finally finding them. Unfortunately for the Dark Side Elite, the entire base was by now awake, determined to keep the darksiders from accomplishing their goal. As a battle ensued, the Jedi Rayf Ysanna and Empatojayos Brand joined the fight. The battle resulted in the deaths of two more of the dark warriors, including the last of the original seven Dark Jedi in Kvag Gthull. Knowing that the battle was lost, and with the imminent arrival of Imperial troops, Nist and his two remaining Dark Jedi retreated to their Howlrunners. Luckily for the New Republic, Jedi Vima-Da-Boda was able to heal Skywalker of the poison introduced into his system by the Scarab droids. As the Imperial AT-ATs advanced, Skywalker and his fellow Jedi were rescued by a group of smugglers and an X-Wing flight group. Nist and the two Dark Jedi tried to pursue the fleeing smugglers in their Howlrunners, but the latter managed to escape by making a jump to hyperspace.
- "It will be done, majesty. We will leave at once to capture these worthy specimens."
- ―Xecr Nist
Returning to the Emperor's Citadel, Nist and his remaining two Dark Jedi found that the Emperor was more concerned for his declining health than he was for their ultimate failure at New Alderaan. Palpatine quickly replenished his Elite back to seven warriors and prepared a new assignment for his Dark Jedi. After learning from his physician that his clones were deteriorating at a rapid rate, Palpatine knew that he needed to introduce genetic material from a Jedi bloodline to restore the health of his clone's genetic make-up. In this capacity, the Emperor sent his Dark Jedi to Ossus to capture members of the Ysanna tribe.
Arriving on Ossus in two Imperial Hunters, Nist and his men quickly rounded up three Ysanna shamans including Chief Okko. Bringing the shamans back to Bast Castle, Nist and his men froze them in carbonite so that they could be used in a new batch of clones that would be prepared on Vjun. However, just as the Dark Side Elite were settling in, a large explosion rocked the front gate of the castle, creating an opening into the Dark Jedi's headquarters. Riding in the starship Jedi Explorer II, Skywalker alongside Empatojayos Brand, Kam Solusar, and Rayf Ysanna were ready to end the threat of the Dark Side Elite once and for all. Caught by surprise, Rayf and Brand easily killed two of the darksiders, and Solusar found himself in a fight for his life in a three on one battle. However, as Skywalker easily overpowered Nist in a duel, he found the time to push a statue of Darth Vader—which had been erected by the late Sedriss—on top of the Elite facing Solusar. As the fight drew to a close, Rayf was able to finish the last darksider and Skywalker took Nist captive.
Aftermath and legacyEdit
- "You may imprison me, Skywalker…but the Emperor is one who cannot be defeated."
"On the contrary, Nist. In the name of all the Jedi, I am the one who will defeat him!"
- ―Luke Skywalker and Xecr Nist
Despite Nist's cryptic decree, the New Republic was finally able to kill Palpatine on the planet Onderon after Han Solo killed his final clone body and Empatojayos Brand trapped his spirit causing it to fade into Chaos. Following Palpatine's final death, Xecr Nist died in prison, leaving Kam Solusar as the only survivor of the Dark Side Elite. With Palpatine dead, new members of the brotherhood were unable to be appointed, which meant that the Dark Side Elite were finally dead.
Palpatine's Dark Jedi were made up of Dark Side Adepts that already had minor training in the Force. Each of Palpatine's Dark Jedi were equipped with long dark robes, and with the exception of Sedriss, they wore black coverings over their heads. To fill out their wardrobe, the Dark Side Elite wore dark leather gauntlets and heavy leather boots.
Additionally, each Dark Side Warrior had a red-bladed lightsaber and an I-7 Howlrunner as their personal ship. The seven Howlrunners together formed Dark Side Squadron. When Kam Solusar defected, he took his Howlrunner with him, eventually using it to smash a hole in Bast Castle during the final fight between Skywalker and the Dark Side Elite. The rest of the Howlrunners were presumably left at Bast Castle after their final destruction at the hands of Skywalker and his Jedi.
Headquarters and forcesEdit
The Dark Side Elite had their base at the former getaway of Darth Vader at Bast Castle. The large structure had a landing pad large enough for each of the Dark Side Elite's I-7 Howlrunner ships as well as several Imperial Hunters. Besides the large landing pad, the building also contained a torture room which isolated the prisoner from the outside world. The structure also housed a carbon-freezing chamber, and apparently had the necessary resources for cloning tanks as well as the methods to genetically alter the created clones. Additionally, the castle was home to a large statue of Darth Vader erected by Sedriss after his appointment to Military Executor. Following Sedriss' death, Palpatine ordered Xecr Nist to remove the statue from the castle. However, Nist delayed removing the effigy of the late Dark Lord, and ironically Skywalker used the large statue to crush several members of the Dark Side Elite during their final battle.
Besides the Dark Side Elite, Bast Castle also served as the station for several groups of stormtroopers including a few teams of dark troopers. When the Dark Side Elite would leave their headquarters, they were often accompanied by these stormtroopers. During Fass and Katth's search for Millennium Falcon on Nar Shaddaa, they were in charge of the Star Destroyer Invincible as well all the forces aboard.
- "If you're smart, you'll join the Emperor as I have…and he'll make you as powerful as he has made me!'"
When Palpatine personally selected a recruit to fill the ranks of the Dark Side Elite, a personal ceremony would take place between Palpatine and the adept. In this ceremony, Palpatine would empower the adept with the dark side of the Force, causing a vast increase in power inside the adept. The vast amount of power used to perform this ceremony created a disturbance in the Force that could be felt across the galaxy. This ceremony also included Palpatine promoting the adept to the full rank of Dark Jedi. This ceremony could take place anywhere, and when Palpatine promoted Tedryn-Sha and Xecr Nist, the procedure was performed in a transport in space above the Galaxy Gun.
At any one time, Palpatine's Dark Side Elite consisted of exactly seven Dark Jedi, with some having slightly more authority over the others. The original Elite consisted of Krdys Mordi, Kvag Gthull, Zasm Katth, Baddon Fass, Kam Solusar, the cadre's leader Executor Sedriss, and Vill Goir, who acted as Sedriss's substitute. After the defection of Solusar, another darksider was recruited to the Dark Side Elite, and two more replacements were appointed to the cadre after the deaths of Katth and Fass. The next change in the ranks occurred after Sedriss's and Goir's deaths on Ossus; Palpatine replaced the two with Xecr Nist and Tedryn-Sha, giving his new Dark Jedi the posts of Executor and second in command, respectively. The Dark Side Elite then took high casualties during the mission to New Alderaan—Krdys Mordi was sliced in half by Jem Ysanna; Tedryn-Sha and Kvag Gthull were both killed by Organa Solo, and one more darksider met his end at the hands of Rayf Ysanna.
After the events on New Alderaan, the number of Dark Jedi was yet again brought back to seven, although it was soon reduced again, this time drastically. Six darksiders were killed during the Jedi assault on Bast Castle—two by Rayf Ysanna, one by Empatojayos Brand, and three more were crushed by the statue of Vader, after Skywalker toppled it with the Force. The only survivor, Xecr Nist was taken into New Republic custody and soon died in a prison. With Palpatine's death, new members could not be appointed to the Dark Side Elite, thus leaving the defected Solusar as the only surviving member of the group.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Dark Side Elite were created by Tom Veitch for the 1994–1995 comic miniseries Dark Empire II. They featured as antagonists throughout the series and the first issue of the followup miniseries, Empire's End. Since then, the organization has been discussed in several sourcebooks and has featured in the audio dramas of Dark Empire II and Empire's End. The author Tom Veitch based the Dark Side Elite on such organisations as Hassan-i Sabbah's Assassins, Adolf Hitler's Gestapo and even dark angels serving Satan.
- Dark Empire II (First appearance)
- Dark Empire II audio drama
- Empire's End 1: Triumph of the Empire
- Empire's End 2: Rage of the Emperor (Mentioned only)
- Empire's End audio drama
- Lightsider (Cut story)
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- Handbook 3: Dark Empire
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 85 (German Edition - SED1-4, Exekutor Sedriss)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Death to the Dark Side!: The Making of Dark Empire – Part III"—Star Wars Insider 159 (Indirect mention only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Dark Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Dark Empire II 1: Operation Shadow Hand
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Official Star Wars Fact File 85 (German Edition - SED1-4, Exekutor Sedriss)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Dark Empire II 4: Battle on Byss
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Dark Empire II 2: Duel on Nar Shaddaa
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Dark Empire II 6: Hand of Darkness
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Empire's End 1: Triumph of the Empire
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ The Dark Forces Saga
- ↑ Dark Apprentice
- ↑ The Essential Chronology
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Handbook 3: Dark Empire
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Dark Empire II 3: World of the Ancient Sith
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Dark Empire II audio drama
- ↑ The Dark Side Sourcebook
- ↑ Empire's End audio drama
- ↑ "Death to the Dark Side!: The Making of Dark Empire – Part III"—Star Wars Insider 159